9 Tips for Protecting Your Dock from the Elements
On average, most people spend anywhere from $3,000 all the way up to $17,000 installing a dock that they can use for boating, fishing, and swimming purposes.
If you're going to spend that kind of money on a dock, the least you can do is take the time to make dock protection a big priority. You should do whatever you can to protect your dock from the elements and keep it looking new for a long time.
From the moment you first put a dock into the water, dock maintenance should be something that you have on your to-do list at all times.
Here are 9 tips for protecting your dock from the elements.
1. Make Sure Your Dock Is Installed Properly From the Beginning
Whether you choose to install a stationary dock that stays in the water permanently or a floating dock you can move in and out of the water as you please, make sure it's installed the right way.
In the event of a major storm, the last thing you want is for your dock to become unstable and tip over in the water. But that's exactly what might happen if your dock isn't properly secured.
Either have a professional install your dock for you or learn how to install it the right way before it goes into the water.
2. Photograph Your Boat Dock Periodically and Check Photos for Any Changes
Once you install your dock, get into the habit of photographing once every few months.
By doing this, you'll be able to see how the elements affect your dock over time. You might not recognize your dock fading or your dock sloping down into the water when you look at it every day.
But when you have photos, you can inspect the changes in your dock over the years and find ways to keep it strong and stable.
3. Use a Pressure Washer to Clean Your Dock on a Regular Basis
Your dock is going to be exposed to the elements all the time and show signs of wear and tear as a result of it.
Pressure wash your dock with a pressure washer and dock detergent every so often to bring it back to life. This will ensure that your dock looks its best at all times, no matter what the weather might throw at it.
It'll also ensure that dirt, debris, mildew, and more aren't able to build up on your dock. These things can lead to wood rot if you're not careful about providing dock protection.
4. Sand Down Any Splinters That Pop Up on Wooden Docks
If you have a wooden dock, splinters are probably going to start popping up on it before too long. Those splinters could cause injuries when people are walking around on your dock.
Take care of splinters by sanding them down and making your dock smooth. Just make sure you call on a professional for help if you don't have experience with sanding docks.
5. Seal Wooden Docks to Prevent Dry Rot
Dry rot is something you might be forced to deal with if you don't make the decision to seal a wooden dock. Water can work its way into wooden docks and cause rotting to occur.
If you've invested in a wooden dock, find a sealer that will protect it from rainwater as well as water from the lake or river where you use it. A good sealer will keep moisture out and stop a dock from rotting.
6. Place Bumpers on Your Dock to Prevent a Boat From Damaging It
Do you plan on putting a boat into the water near your dock?
Before you do, consider placing bumpers in between your dock and the boat. This will serve as a barrier that will stop the boat from damaging the dock in windy and stormy conditions.
Both your dock and your boat could sustain damage if you don't have some kind of bumpers on your dock. Bumpers are an inexpensive way to stop a boat from raming into your dock during inclement weather.
7. Prevent Snow and Ice From Building Upon a Dock in the Winter
Most people don't spend much time thinking about snow and ice when it comes to their docks.
But if you're going to have your dock outside in the wintertime, snow and ice can accumulate on top of it. When they melt, they can cause dry rot and reduce the lifespan of your dock.
If you live in a place like Iowa that can get a lot of snow and ice in the winter, do what you can to clear your dock off as often as you can. You won't have to worry about snow and ice damaging your dock when you do.
8. Repair Your Boat Dock at the First Sign of Trouble
If you notice a crack in your dock or something else that seems to be wrong with it, don't put off repairs.
Even if there's just a small amount of damage to a dock caused by the elements or something else, you can stop it from spiraling out of control and leading to a large amount of damage.
Call on the professionals to make repairs to your dock the first moment you notice something wrong with it.
9. Pull a Floating Dock Out of the Water If Extremely Bad Weather Is in the Forecast
If you're able to pull your dock out of the water, take advantage of it.
Whenever bad weather is in the forecast, remove your dock and store it somewhere safe until the weather passes. It's better to be safe than sorry as far as dock protection is concerned.
Dock Protection Will Make Your Dock Last a Lot Longer
You're going to be spending lots of time on your dock once you get it into the water. It's going to provide you and your family with tons of fun in the years to come.
Why let the weather get in the way of all that fun? Provide dock protection for your dock and don't allow the elements to ruin all the boating, fishing, and swimming you're planning to do from your dock.
Read our blog to learn more about picking out the right dock for your water and maintaining it over time.
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